Training Of Bulldogs is Taking Shape in Hamilton



Yann Danis was the starter last night and played well against the San Antonio Rampage while Corey Locke played another inspiring game with 3 points. It seems ashamed that Locke hasn’t had a chance to make the NHL, if he doesn’t get a chance to play in Montreal (highly unlikely with the depth in the organization) then Bob Gainey should consider trading him to give him a chance somewhere else as Locke hasn’t complained or had a bad attitude about the situation. It would be ashamed if such a young, talented player were labelled as a career AHLer.
The Canadiens should be happy with the recent play of forward Matt D’Agostini and defenseman Pavel Valentenko. D’Agostini has been scoring in bunches (11pts in last 9 games and a 9 game point streak with a 5 game goal streak) and has improved his plus/minus rating from -18 just a few weeks ago to -10.
By all accounts, Pavel Valentenko has raised his game to another level and is playing a solid defensive role with the usual hard hitting body checks that he has been known for throughout his early hockey career. When the season began, Valentenko was having trouble adjusting to the smaller ice surface and was making poor decisions when he did decide to make a big hit thus being out of position in the process. Well, fast forward to the present and he is a much improved player who is rarely out of position (he’s a +3) and picks his spots for the big hit. Valentenko is starting to show more confidence with the puck in the offensive zone especially when he mans the point on the powerplay.
Mathieu Carle is another defenseman who is blossoming in Hamilton under Head coach Don Lever. Carle is getting a ton of ice time in all situations and has been steady at both ends of the ice. He is contributing offensively ( 13 points in 25 games and a team high +5 for Bulldogs defensemen) which isn’t a surprise as he has always been offensively gifted throughout his junior career but he is opening eyes by playing solid defense as well.
Only a couple of years ago, the Canadiens had very little prospect depth along the blue line but how times have change with the maturation of players like Pavel Valentenko, Mathieu Carle and Ryan O’Byrne. Just imagine the unbelievable depth the Habs will have when players like Ryan McDonagh, Yannick Weber, P.K. Subban, Philippe Paquet and David Fischer finally develop into NHL players.